Middlemarch in May with Arti

Arti at Ripple Effects blog is hosting a read-along for the next two or more months, and I am joining in! She invites us to the party with this inducement:

“In 2015, BBC Culture contributor Jane Ciabattari surveyed 82 book critics around the world outside UK, ‘from Australia to Zimbabwe’, and asked them to rate the greatest English novels of all time. Guess which book came up on top of the list? Guess right. Middlemarch by George Eliot.”

More than a dozen years ago my husband and I read this novel aloud together, and found it a rich and complex world to visit for several months, with well-drawn characters living through their thought-provoking questions and dilemmas. I knew I wanted to read it again, and here is my chance. I remember back then that occasionally when I was the one doing the reading I could not help being so rude as to stop suddenly (with apologies) because I really needed to underline a passage.

When I took my fat paperback off the shelf this week I looked inside to see just what had seemed so compelling at the time. It’s certain that of context of the whole novel I don’t recall the characters well enough at this point to fully appreciate how wise was the author’s assessment of their character and inner lives.

So I’m returning to Middlemarch, pretty confident that I will find it a rich exploration, and I’m not waiting for May, to start reading. What with all my underlining and pausing to think, I will be a slow reader as usual. So let the journey begin! Would you like to join us?

6 thoughts on “Middlemarch in May with Arti

  1. You’re way ahead of us, Gretchen! Uh… don’t think this second time around will be as romantic as your first 🙂 However, I’m sure you’ll have a new kind of experience… virtual camaraderie. Your post makes me want to start right away too! So glad you’re on board!


  2. I really did enjoy Middlemarch the two times I have read it now. I keep a little notebook that I write down my favourite quotes in, and my favourite from Middlemarch was the last paragraph, about the goodness of Dorothea’s quiet life, about the influence of those have “lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” I love that, in our crazy world of loud celebrity. Apologies for jumping straight to the end of the novel, but that quote leapt into my mind as I read your post. I do love the idea of reading it aloud. That must be a wonderful memory for you xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny how just last week my son, Alan, and I were talking about this novel and he told me I should read it. It is quite thick! But I might give this one a go…but if I do not finish it in a month I will not get discouraged…because I always have more than one book being read at the same time.


  4. I ought to read along with you, but I have too many books I’m in the middle of. Middlemarch was required for a Brit Lit course I took in grad school years ago, and it was the only book I did not finish — just TOO long, and took too much time. Now I wish I could read it again!


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